Myśliwi i naganiacze. Stratyfikacja ról społecznych na pograniczu
Hunters and beaters. The stratification of social roles in the borderland
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The topic of the article is the image of social roles in the hunter’s subculture. The analysed material was chosen from hunter’s memoirs and stories of the 19th and 20th centuries as well as periodicals (“Łowiec” ["Hunter"], “Łowiec Polski” ["Polish Hunter], “Myśliwy” ["Hunter"]). The hunter’s literature has a great informative and documentary potential, and therefore it can serve as a basis of social and cultural conclusions. The hunter’s culture is closed, conservative, patriarchal and elitist – it excludes women and representatives of lower social groups in the social hierarchy. It contains relics of feudal epoch (the pictures of preparations for the hunts and the hunts themselves) as well as many elements strongly connected with military rituals (the canon of hunters’ activities, the hunting language which is a hybrid of military jargon and a code understandable only to insiders). The participants of the hunts create two groups with a strong sociological and cultural demarcation: people from lower class are trackers, beaters and porters, whereas people from upper class have a privileged position as those who stand face to face with an enemy and fight with it to the death.The second part discusses the hunt in the borderland of weather conditions and in the borderland of countries and regions. The hunter in the borderland is a stranger from the outside who clings on to the representatives of the indigenous inhabitants, who live in the place for generations, for support and help. The local culture serves as a metaphor for home, mother and wife, that is for remaining in one place. The hunter in the borderland is a nomad and a traveller, who yields to the attractiveness of the local culture which becomes for him a place of final destination – home.
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